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Brenlee Barton is an Arkansas Tech University freshman who is majoring in elementary education and owns You’re a Peach, a baking company that specializes in cupcakes and decorated sugar cookies.
Barton was 16 when the COVID pandemic shut the world down. That is when she decided to start baking.
“There was nothing to do, and I just started making cupcakes for my friends and family dropping them off at the doorstops,” Barton said. “I wanted to do something that would make others feel a little joy during a hard time while keeping myself busy.”
Barton originally focused on cupcakes until her mother wanted her to step out of her comfort zone and encouraged her to try decorated sugar cookies.
“My mom would send me thousands of photos of cookies that were beautifully decorated and I was like, ‘Mom I do not know if I can do that,’ and she told me to try it. Now it’s the item I sell the most of and I love doing them,” Barton said.
It would take her hours and months of practice to learn how to decorate the cookies and find her own style. “It was trial by fire, lots of mistakes at first and it took a lot of work, but now I can do all kinds of themes and I can customize pretty much any design that they want,” she said. “I really enjoy the groovy-theme cookies right now. The bright colors are fun to work with and I think they are cute.”
The most cookies Barton has made in a week was 55 dozen which equals 660 cookies. “My mom was one of the reasons I survived that week. She has been a huge help and part of the reason I can do this. She is always cleaning up the kitchen or helping me make the cookie dough. Whatever I need, she is there for me,” Barton said.
One of Barton’s favorite cookie designs was a painting of the basketball player Jalen Williams on a cookie. “Painting with food coloring is rough and getting the details right takes time, but once you do it that’s another skill to add,” she said.
The name of the bakery comes from an inside joke shared between the family.
“I got the nickname Peaches when I was on a mission trip and it stuck. So, when we were coming up with the name, we wanted something that would stick and my mom started playing around peach and there is the saying ‘You’re a peach’ which means you are sweet, and we looked at each and knew that was the name,” Barton said.
Every part of You’re a Peach is a family effort which has allowed Barton to continue school and bake. “It has been a team from the start,” she said. “My sister created my logo and social media pages. My dad and fiancée are ‘box boys’ they do packaging and my mom fills in where I need her. I truly could or wouldn’t be here without them.”
Barton has also participated in other local events, such as Russellville Downtown Art Walk, and sells her cookies at Midtown Coffee.
“One skill I have been working towards is cakes. I am making my own wedding cake so I have been practicing, and maybe that will one day be an option for customers. But for now, I am doing cookies and cupcakes,” she said.
Barton hopes to open her own storefront one day and have lots of ovens to cook out of.
“Having more ovens would be nice. I would be able to bake multiple sets and it would save me some time,” Barton said. “I just want to say that I feel blessed because my community has supported me and pushed me to go for this dream. I never thought it would end up the way it has.”
To find out more about You’re a Peach, you can follow them on Facebook or visit the website www.youreapeachbackingco.com to see a menu or place orders.